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‘How conflicts increase poverty in warring countries’

By on April 12, 2011

The World Bank has reported that countries with high incidences of violence are prone to poverty than those with little or none.

This is contained in the Bank’s 2011 World Development Report. It noted that countries where violence is endemic fall far behind in development, with poverty rates of over 20 per cent higher than those in other countries.

It also noted that some “1.5 billion people live in countries affected by repeated cycles of political and criminal violence, and no low-income fragile or conflict-affected country has yet to achieve a single Millennium Development Goal”.

The report stated that attacks in one region can inflict costs on global markets. According to it, “one attack in the Niger Delta can cost global consumers of oil billions in increased prices.”

To tackle these problems the report suggested: “Capable and legitimate institutions are crucial because they are able to mediate the stresses that otherwise lead to repeated waves of violence and instability”.

It disclosed that “more than 90 per cent of civil wars in the 2000s occurred in countries that already experienced a civil war in the last 30 years. Elsewhere,gains made through peace processes are often undermined by high levels of organised crime”.

To solve economic, political, and security problems that hinder development and “trap fragile states in cycles of violence requires strengthening national institutions and improving governance in ways that prioritise citizen security, justice and jobs.

The World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick added: “If we are to break the cycles of violence and lessen the stresses that drive them, countries must develop more legitimate, accountable and capable national institutions that provide for citizen security, justice and jobs.”

source : The Nation